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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  July 20, 2012 5:00pm-6:00pm EDT

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aurora? >> well, as you can imagine, especially for people who lived in this area, back in 1999, this is all too familiar. we're just 12 miles down the road from the scene of the columbine shooting and it's been a horrific day. so many people who came to the scene of the shooting, trying to find out what had happened to loved ones, had they been in that particular theatre? had they been injured, been victims of the shooting. then you have a second scene, high anxiety, as you mention, this apartment and its very sophisticated crossed wires attached to plastic bottles. investigators don't know what's inside those bottles, they're obviously approaching this very carefully. that's all been evacuated. it's not just a concern obviously for safety, but they want what is in that apartment. are there computers, is there other information that could be
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used as evidence? and we're left with the lingering question and there's no good answer to this yet and that is why did he do that? the new york police commissioner ray kelly had reported that he had his hair painted red and said he was the joker and since then, there has been verification of that, that james holmes, the 24-year-old suspect, did indeed tell police he was the joker, but why is the outstanding question, ron. >> we've got 12 people dead, 71 reported wounded. is there any word as far as the wounded, how many of those 71 might be critically wounded? >> i just talked to some people who were at the hospital, the major hospital where the victims had been brought and they say they're being very closed mouthed. you can understand why and that is because a lot of the family members are trying to be
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contacted and so, we really don't know. we do know that some people have already been discharged, including a baby who was less than a year old who was inside the theatre, but as far as how many maybe seriously, maybe have life threatening injury, i haven't seen that yet. >> one thing o that occurs to me, is how did he get into the theatre with the kevlar vest and guns and everything else? is it the case that he got in first, then left through a back door, got the guns and body armor and came back in there the exit? >> that was the obvious question because as you well know, ron, when you go to a movie theatre, those exit doors at the front are locked. according to witnesses, he had a ticket, came into the theatre. at some point, his phone rang and he went outside looking like
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he was going out to take a call and then obviously, somehow, kept the door open, propped the door open, put all this gear on him. you know, he had on a helm, a vest. some reports say he had on other protective clothing. a gas mask, obviously. came back in and very quickly just r started opening fire with that assault rifle. >> yeah, i imagine the police are interested in whether he had any kind of accomplices. you know, the phone call, for instance, or things on his computer. if anybody else knew about this. >> that's a outstanding question right now and one of the things that police have said is that they don't have any direct evidence saying there was an accomplice. it could be purely coincidental. it could have been set up with someone who had no idea. he could have said call me at such a time and they did not
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knowing. that will be something that's fairly easy to check obviously because as you reported at the top of the show, you know, he surrendered, there was no issue. so preem bly, they're able to get his phone and see the call. >> thank you, chris jansing from aurora, colorado. joining me now is an eyewitness to this shooting. jennifer seeger was in the theatre and saw the gun firsthand. welcome to the show. i'm glad you could be with us. that must have been about the most terrifying thing you could imagine. you had a front row seat to a mass killing. can you describe what happened and how did you first realize that something was terribly wrong, that this wasn't part of the movie, in other words? >> at the point, he took it first fire, i knew those were real bullets. he was out there to hurt somebody. it was terrifying.
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i go in there to watch a movie and come out with blood on me and dead bodies all around me and gun shots and all by one man. you know what i mean, it's absolutely ludicrous to me how somebody could do that to anyone, but it was terrifying. the guy put -- >> how close -- >> i was second row. the second row. >> and he was standing right there at the front of the theatre? >> yes, sir, he was. >> what was the expression on his face? his demeanor? >> yeah, i could do that for you. he didn't have a face because he had a gas mask on. he was in full riot gear. looked like he was from a s.w.a.t. team. had a vest on. a belt on. he had padding and a rifle in his hands and at that point, he was four or five feet away from me and the gentlemen, he's not a
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gentlemen, but he put that gun in my face and i at that point didn't know what to do. he stood you know, six foot tall, 185 pounds with a gun in my face three feet away from me. >> he actually put the gun to your face? >> yes, sir. >> he held the barrel of the gun to your face. but didn't shoot you, obviously. >> he held in my direction, towards my face and didn't shoot me because i moved out of the way quick enough to where i could duck for cover and pull myself underneath a chair and hide with my best friend and you know, try to tuck ourselves underneath the chairs and hide and just stay still. at that point, i told everybody to just stay calm and wait for him to go up the stairs and when he did that, just crawl as fast as you could to the other end of the aisle. >> sorry, as you were hiding there, i didn't mean to
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interrupt, were you aware that other people were actually being shot and killed around you? >> yes. you know, when i was laying on the ground waiting for him to move up the stairs, he had missed me and went on to other people, killed as many people as possible and that was very obvious. he shot people behind me. the gun shot and shells were rolling down and touching my face and my best friend's legs. they were still warm and you could smell the gun powder in the air and hear the people moaning in the background that had been shot. as that happened, he just continued to walk up the stairs and kill people in each al, walking in the al. anybody that tried to flee, he would just shoot at that point. >> how long did this go on? >> it seemed like a lifetime, but if i had to put a guesstimate on it, probably about 15 minutes, 20 at the
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most. but i think 10, 15 minutes. >> yeah, that's a long time though for this to be. >> right and it's just enough time for him to be able to get what he came in there to do, that he planned to do done before anybody could get in there. the cops were there fast, but he just got it done so quickly that there was nothing we could do about it. >> did he say anything at all when this was going on? >> in, all he did was come in the door, throw the gas canister, shoot the ceiling. >> how long do you think it was before the people in the theatre understood this isn't some stunt for the movie, this is the real thing? >> i think people started noticing about a minute or two. with the tear gas, people were
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thinking it was a prank, but the the second he lifted up the the vest and shot it, there was there and that only took two minutes to realize. it went from calm and collected to entertaining to massive amounts of people being shot. it was just too short of a time span to be able to adjust. >> you are a lucky young woman and i know you know that, but thank you for joining us very much. tonight. and you know, go home, rest and probably want to talk to somebody about this later. thanks so much. >> no problem. >> you bet. also joining us is nbc chief justice correspondent, pete williams. i understand you've been looking into the guns in particular that this individual used. what sort of guns were they? where did he get them? could he have been prevented from getting them? >> not under colorado law. they were all legally purchased.
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there were two handguns. very commonly used throughout the u.s. by gun enthousiasts. then a shotgun, then the rifle that probablyd the most shots. a smith & wesson ar 15 type rifle. these are somewhat contin controversial. you can't buy them in five states. they're banned in new york, new jersey, connecticut and massachusetts. they were all purchased within the last couple of month. the first of them was bought in may and the most recent one was bought just two weeks ago so that would indicate if holmes was in fact the shooter, whoever was planning to do it since may. the place say he was extensively
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decked out in bulletproof everything when he walked into the theatre. he had these guns. at least three of them. we don't know whether he was carrying both the handguns. he may have left one in his car. he had the gas canister, all this elaborate verse of wires and boxes and everything else in his apartment. this was obviously very well planned and i've talked to some authorities who are familiar with the apartment scene and he did at least tell police it was booby trapped. that's about the last thing he's told them. he's not really cooperate d wit authorities. they say there's glass bottles with liquids in it. containers of fireworks, powder, ammunition and all these wires that seem to interconnect everything and it's just a huge jumble and chore to try to figure out how to get in there. >> i suppose, i know it's a
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fortunate thing he at least told the police he had the apartment rigged with explosives. pete, i know you've got a lot of work to do. appreciate it very much. tonight, the country is watching as this tragedy unfolds. share your thoughts and con dole enss by sending a message to msnbc.com. there will be a special edition of "dateline" tonight and at 10:00, a special on the shooting. we'll be right back. >> we talked to people on scene here. they had a look of grave concern on their face. when we got here, they said it's not safe for you to be here. there are explosives here. we're told they are investigating whether or not there are explosives here. with the available lexus enform app suite, you can use opentable to make restaurant reservations. during the golden opportunity sales event, get great values on some of our newest models.
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this is the pursuit of perfection. the terrible events in aurora, colorado have inevitably
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revived calls for tighter gun control laws. brady center to prevent gun violence ranks state on a 100 point scale. california has the strongest gun control laws followed by new jersey, massachusetts, new york and connecticut. on the other end of the scale, arizona, utah and alaska all get zeros. colorado ranks relatively low on the scale with a 15 rating. we'll be right back. nah. [ dennis' voice ] i bet he's got an allstate agent. they can save you up to 30% more by bundling your policies. well his dog's stupid. [ dennis' voice ] poodles are one of the world's smartest breeds. are you in good hands? [ dennis' voice ] poodles are one owhy let constipation smartest stry miralax.? mirlax works differently than other laxatives. it draws water into your colon to unblock your system naturally. don't wait to feel great. miralax. with the fidelity stock screener, you can try strategies from independent experts
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type of weapon he had, you know, that was the time when we need to run, so we just ran down the stairs. >> welcome back to "hardball." we're learning more about the alleged shooter, james holmes, who opened fire early this morning in a colorado movie theatre. that theatre stands less than 20 miles from the site of another horrific massacre, the 1999 mass shooting at columbine high
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school in littleton, colorado. joining me now the dave cullen, who spent ten years reporting on his book and clint van zandt. thank you, gentlemen, both for joining me. dave, there must be an awful sense of deja vu here. when yoi first heard the news out of aurora, did you flash back to columbine? >> i did and in particular, to the morning after, which was so much more painful than the day id happened for me because the kids out there had really changed overnight and they had, they had sort of frozen up emotionally. nobody was crying. sort of blank stares on their faces and they were aware of this. they you said their emotions had been shut off overnight and it was really, really disconcerting. that was the scariest part for me. i hope this is okay to say, for me, that's when it changed
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personally from being distraught about the people who had died. at that point, i guess i was really worried for the 2,000 kids who were still alooi and obviously, the dead is terrible and in most ways worse, but then you have to think about all those people still alive and that was kind of overwhelming, actually. >> i had that thought when i was talking with jennifer seeger, one of the eyewitnesses just a moment ago and i was thinking she's going to suffer some sort of post-traumatic stress here, i would think. is that the witnesses can expect at this point? >> luckily, not all of them and chris probably knows more of the figures than i have. a minority of people actually suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. most will have some difficulty, but most people get over it and you know, they're going to have a rough couple of months or
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years, don't get me wrong. but i was really kind of surprised when columbine first happened, it was the kids who seemed most shattered be i it and really, really in bad shape and the adults for the most part were handling it better. over the years, they sort of gradually traded places where the parents got a little better, and the adults, but not that much and the kids were more resilient and really recovered, but it took like five to ten years. >> clint, you and i have had conversations after events like this before and they're never easy conversations to have. we don't know everything about this shooter, obviously yet. we don't know what his motives were, but we know some things about hill. he prepared. this wasn't a spur of the moment thing. what does that tell us about
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him? >> as far as i'm concerned, ron, he's responsible for his actions. this wasn't just a psychotic break overnight. this is someone as pete williams just told us, who at least bought these four weapons over the last couple of months and it's interesting. when we look at the weapon, ron, glock pistols carried by police and fbi, 12 gauge 870 shotguns carried by police and fbi, he wears a black tactical uniform, a bulletproof vest, ballistic helmet, ballistic neck guard, leggings, this is a want to be in his own way, this is someone who wanted to look like law enforcement, look like the military and when we say why did he tell law enforcement that he had his apartment booby trapped, this guy may have, terrible as it is, he may have had some special fantasy relationship in
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his mind with law enforcement. he dressed like them. he carried guns like them and even though he was capable of shooting 71 people, he didn't want to get his fantasy brothers and sisters in arms wounded, perhaps. >> he also did not choose to go down in a blaze of glory, either. he was wearing body armor. apparently surrendered to the police immediately. what does this tell us about him? >> well, i've been involved in suicide by cop cases where individuals -- trying to get others to kill them. this guy had ever chance in the world to force that to happen. when i was an fbi hostage negotiator, i had a t-shirt somebody gave me one time. it said surrender or die. really in his case, that's the choice. real cops with real guns gave him a real choice and he chose
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to put his weapons down, meekly surrender and i think what's interesting, does he have a message, some type of terrible rationalization for what he did that he really wants to share with us because if he wanted to die, all he had to do was point a gun at a police officer. they would have obliged him. but he chose not to do that, ron, so there's more to come from this guy's mouth. >> the alleged shooter's mother spoke to abc news from her gnome san diego and said quote, you have the right person. i need to call the police. i need to fly out to colorado. dave, i don't recall from the columbine shooting, did any -- was anybody aware that the shooter in that incident might be somebody who posed a risk to people? was there anybody there who maybe knew something like this was in the offing? >> there were a few people who -- who understood, the brown
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family in particular, who had alerted the cops because dylan klebold has basically turned in the other killer, whose mom report to the police and turned over pages and pages of the website with all sorts of death threats. and the police actually investigated that and then for still somewhat unclear reasons, stopped investigating apparently because of another murder case and never followed up. so, there were people who had an idea. most people however, they fooled. and particularly harris, who was a psychopath. he had just about everybody fooled. for the most part, that was the exception. >> thank you both for joining us on this very difficult day and we will be right back.
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>> as of right now, we do not have any evidence of a second gunman. we were here immediately and thankfully, we apprehended a suspect cht
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carry on. now you can test-drive snapshot before you switch. visit progressive.com today. . welcome back to "hardball." for one victim, last night's rampage at the movie theatre was unbelievably not the first time she was present at such a horrific event. last month, she was inside a toronto mall moments before a shooting rampage began. still unnerved, she wrote a blog post about it. this empty feeling won't go away. i noticed this when i was in the eaton center in toronto before someone opened fire which allowed me to go outside and out of harm's way. it's hard for me to wrap my mind around how a weird feeling saved me from being in the middle of a
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deadly shooting. tragically, jessica was inside the theatre and lost her life. i'm joined now by jessica's brother, jordan. our condolences go out to you. what an awful koicoincidence an you must feel so whiplashed and terrible about it. >> those same feelings she expressed in that post is what my family and are experiencing now. >> what was jessica like? >> her own monokerr was the feisty redhead and that says a lot right there. she was feisty, passionate and curious. she was boisterous, well loved. her passion showed everywhere and in everything she did. >> i don't imagine that anybody, not jessica, not you, not her
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family would have imagined that having survived one shooting in toronto, that really, incredibly, she would find herself in the midst of another shooting just a few weeks later and lose her life. how is your family coping? >> devastated. we're all devastated. friends, family, we have a wide range around the world. c they're trying to strengthen my family, just trying to be a pillar for them and focus on celebrating my sister's life. there's a lot of speculation on the shooter's -- i have refused to learn his name because this man was a coward. simply put, a coward. this isn't going to be another columbine, where we remember the
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name. this one is going to be known for the victims and those are the names, the lives we should be focusing on. >> i know exactly -- yes, sorry, i didn't mean to interrupt. i know exactly how you feel having gone through something similar. i didn't want to say his name either and if i would have gotten ahold of them, i probably would have torn him limb by limb. jordan, thank you so much for joining us today. i really appreciate it and our sympathies go out to you and your family. she wrote i say all the time that every moment we have to live our life is a blessing, so often, i find myself taking it for granted. every laugh we share with
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there are going to be other days for politics. this, i think, is a day for prayer and reflection. >> welcome back to "hardball." both president obama and mitt romney gave brief statements today on the tragedy in colorado. but there was one word neither candidate mentioned. gun. and that doesn't come as a surprise to any political observers. if the call out from this mass
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shooting follows the pattern of similar acts, there likely won't be a debate on gun violence and that concerns proponents of gun control. here was mike bloomberg today. >> you know, soothing words are nice, but maybe it's time that the two people who want to be president of the united states stand up and tell us what they're doing to do about it because this is obviously a problem across the country. president obama and governor romney talking in broad things about they want to make the world a better place, okay, tell us how. >> why is it that tragedies like this don't ignite more of a national political debate on gun control? ma matt cooper and dennis hanigan, vice president of the brady campaign to prevent gun
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violence. let me start with you, matt. there seem to be some numbers that came out recently here. in 1990, for instance, 78% of the american public said gun laws ought to be stricter. by 2010, those numbers were almost completely reverse ereve. only 44% of americans saying laws should be stricter and many more saying they should be less strict. why is that happening do you suppose in the united states right now? >> i don't think we know all the reason, ron, but one may be those elections way back in 1994 that brought newt gingrich and republicans the control of congress. you know, that came after bill clinton and the democratic congress passed some modest reform measures and they just got their clocks cleaned. now, there were other issues in that campaign, but that was really an important one. that one really scared democrats. that was a sole changing moment for them and since then, you
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have not seen them get out front in gun control like they used to. >> and dennis, as somebody who is devoted to sensible gun control, those numbers would seem to indicate that their side is losing the argument here in the united states. what do you make of that? >> well, i would contest that and polls show very different things. for example, the polls show a lot of americans think we have a lot stronger gun laws than we actually do. frank luntz has found that a majority of americans believe we have background checks on all gun sales, when we don't. only by licensed gun dealers and we need to extend those to all sales. when frank and other pollsters have asked the american people, do you support specific changes in our gun laws to make them stronger, they overwhelmingly support those changes. over 85% of the american people support extending brady background checks to all gun
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sales including over 80% of gun owners. we actually have a consensus in this country that we ought to make our gun laws stronger. what we don't have are politicians listening to the people. instead, they are cowering in fear of the gun lobby and not doing what is necessary for the safety of the american people. >> well speaking of politicians like that, here was texas congressman today and his thoughts on the tragedy. >> it does make me wonder with all those people in the theatre, was there nobody that was carrying that could have stopped this guy more quickly? >> matt, i know you're a report er, so you may not want to weigh in on this. i've been around guns all my life and when i hear, then i imagine a crowded theatre, with smoke, crowded light, gun shot
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lights going off and then imagine what would happen if a bunch of people just started firing, even if firing towards the assailant here. those bullets would be going through walls and hitting people. how does he say something this foolish? >> well, i can't speak to that, ron. the only thing i do know is just to go back to what we were saying before, i think part of the reason democratic politicians are kind of cowering on this issue and they just don't want to touch it is there are these misperceptions out in the public as dennis said. there are lots of people who think president obama has passed gun control or has an agenda in his second term to confiscate guns. he's done nothing on guns and there's tho sign he wants to do anything on gun control.
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rumors run rampant and even back in 1994 when clinton passed the assault rifle law that he pushed through, he was constantly saying look, i'm not coming after your hunti ing rifle. i love deer season as much as anyone. >> dennis, i put matt in a tough position there as a reporter. he wouldn't want to venture an opinion as i did there, but you're not a reporter. you can weigh in on this. what he said was just frankly stupid. i mean anybody who knows anything about guns would not imagine that would be a good scenario to have going on. how do you respond? >> you hear this kind of insanity all the time from the other side and i would turn the clock back to the horrible shooting that victimized your dad and jim brady. those were two public officials who were surrounded by well armed, well trained people and it didn't stop that shooting.
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as a matter of fact, colorado as a state, unfortunately, has made it easier for people to get concealed weapons and that didn't stop this shooting, so this is a fantasy, that more guns means less crime, less violence cht what we need are common sense measures to keep guns out of the hands of these dangerous people in the first place. that's what the american people want and the problem is this debate always gets so polarized. people saying well, if president obama were to do anything to show some leadership towards common sense measures, it would be an attack on the the second amendment and that's not true. >> we have to leave it there. thank you. appreciate you both coming in and stay with nbc news for continuing coverage of the tragedy in colorado. there will be a special edition of "dateline" at 9:00, and at 10:00, msnbc will have a special on the shooting. we will be right back. >> today, we feel not only a
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sense of grief, but perhaps also of helplessness, but there is something we can do. we can offer comfort to someone near us who is suffering or heavy layden and mourn with those who mourn in colorado. this morning, colorado lost youthful voices, which would have brightened their homes and brought joy to their families. our prayer is that the comforter might bring peace to their souls that surpasses our understanding. [ male announcer ] if you think any battery will do, consider this...
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♪ we've heard from mike kelly, he tweeted gabby and i were horried to hear of the tragedy in colorado last night. our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and families. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] what's the point
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this morning, we woke up to news of a tragedy that reminds us of all the ways that we are united as one american family. >> we are back.
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the president and his republican opponent both canceled their campaign stops today and they pulled the negative ads from television stations in colorado. for an assessment of how candidates handleded the news and what impact it could have on the campaign, we've got john heilemann and mark halperin, editor for "time." both are msnbc political analysts. this is a tough thing for a presidential candidates. they're out there in the midst of a hard fought campaign. a tragedy like this happens. how did the two men handle it, do you suppose? >> well, it's always a tough thing to do. certainly, they're in high gear and have been in high combat the last couple of weeks in particular. you've got a down shift and change tone pretty quick. both candidates had skilled speech writing operations around them and very sensible advisers. i think they handled it with what i expected it to be, grace
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and a fair amount of dignity and did what they needed to do today, which is strike the right tone of grief and the victims' families. send national sympathy and national mourning and get themselves out of that state of kind of cheap political combat as quickly as possible. >> mark, i believe the president was apprised at around 5:45 this morning that the shooting hads happened. how does an incident like this effect a campaign? what happens in the immediate aftermath? what things are they looking at and weighing? >> we all continue to be concerned about the families and the victims particularly of the ones hospitalized. and you saw it in both governor romney and president obama today, a real human response. behind the scenes, though, remember 24 hours ago although we're in july, there was intense political back and forth going on with both sides thinking they had issues that they could score
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political advantage on. lots of negative ads, press releases galore. all that comes to a halt. these are operatives in both the senior lels in the white house in the chicago campaign and boston that get politics clearly. neither man had events today that couldn't be changed or scrapped. mrs. romney and the first lady, mr. biden all easy to cancel events. then watch and see as we head into the weekend. my guess is because these two guys have been running more negative campaigns than they'd like to, this could have a residual effect into next week. before too long we'll be back to where they were once they get a better feel for where the countris regarding the kind of negative campaigns both have been running. >> yeah. you hate to be cynical about this sort of thing on a day like today. some of us were chatting before the show we agreed by the end of
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the weekend, beginning of next week, whatever number of good feeling and togetherness arises from this, it will probably start wearing off. the president today spoke about the tragedy in personal terms. as a parent. take a look at that. >> my daughter gos to the movies. what if malia and sasha had been at the theater as so many of our kids do every day. michelle and i will be fortunate to hug our girls a little tighter tonight. i'm sure you'll do the same with your children. for those parents who may not be so lucky, we have to embrace them and let them know we'll be there for them as a nation. >> john, this is a test in a way for a president or a potential president. presidents of the united states are consolers in chief. i think of my own father in the
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challenger disaster, for instance. it's a tough note you have to strike, isn't it though? politics of course goes out the window, but you have to hit just the right note. again, do you think that both of these men did a pretty good job with that? >> i think they did, ron. in president obama's case, he has some experience in this case obviously with the gabby giffords shooting where he rose to the occasion. it's tough to strike the right note. what it calls upon in a politician is a largeness of spirit and then the one thing you need to stay away from is to in any way cheapen the thing with any politics in any way. it calls for a human response and for a soft response. and as i say, president obama has had this. he's been in office now almost four years. he's had other occasions he's had to do this before. governor romney has not been president and not been called on to play that role in quite the
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same way, but i thought his response today was equally graceful and hit the right notes just as well. these are the people around both these candidates are experienced. they have some very, very good speech writers and political strategists around them who can help them find their way to the right place rhetorically and in terms of their human affect. >> we only have a few seconds left. both men mentioning family and that's really a note that you want to strike there. that these are family men and they can identify with a tragedy that is a family tragedy for, of course, the relatives of the victims. >> they can. and it was totally genuine. both these guys at times in public are not particularly emotional or emotive when they talk about their families. when things happen that are tragic that make them think of their own families, you do see a more human side of them. one thing this campaign has
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lacked is that on the part of both. i hope it gets them focused on what's important. maybe hopefully rein in their campaign operatives. and have a more civil campaign than in recent weeks. >> we'll see how that goes. thank you. we'll be right back. ♪ ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] everyone likes a bit of order in their life. virtual wallet helps you get it. keep track of spending, move money with a slide, and use the calendar.
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let me finish tonight with this.
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guns don't kill people, as the saying goes, people kill people. true enough. but people with guns end up doing most of that killing. in the wake of this most recent tragedy in colorado, the national rifle association and its minnons are no doubt bracing themselves for an assault on their constitutionally protected obsession with firearms. that's not going to happen. never has. likely never will. but let me advance what i consider a sensible proposition around guns if for no other reason than to annoy the nra. let's start treating guns more or less like cars. i know, i know. there's no constitutional right to drive an automobile, but neither are there any constitutional restrictions. after all, when cars first arrived, they were nothing more than noisy versions of the horse and buggy. anyone could drive as they please. sensible laws were soon enacted. let's do the same with guns and gun ownership. here's the deal.
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guns particularly semiautomatic handguns are designed to kill. when you purchase one for self-defense, you are announcing your intention if threatened to kill another person. that's serious business. so let's take it seriously. let's require gun purchasers to prove they know how to handle a gun properly. just as we test new drivers' ability to maneuver an automobile. and let's test chair knowledge of when and how they can use their weapon in self-defense. just like we test drivers' familiarity with traffic rules. pretty simple. no one losing their right to own a gun. they merely have a demonstrate competence. americans, many of us, will not soon abandon our fetish for firearms. that doesn't mean we can't be more adult about it. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "politicsnation" with al sharpton starts right now. welcome to "politicsnation." i'm al sharpton.
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tonight, tragedy in colorado. at this hour here's what we do know. shortly after midnight last night 24-year-old suspected gunman james eagan holmes walked into a sold out movie screening of the new batman movie. he hurled a cannister of tear gas in and opened fire. there are 12 dead. 71 shot. holmes was arrested in a parking lot behind the theater shortly after the massacre. a law enforcement official confirms that holmes had red or orange hair when he was apprehended. and he told police that he was the villain the joker from batman. despite these details, countless questions remain. among them what caused this former

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